State of California


cop-side-californiaCalifornia has it. The tallest and oldest trees. The highest point of the continental U.S. And the lowest. It has eight of the largest 50 cities in the U.S. and one of every eight people who live in the U.S. reside in the Golden State. But perhaps a few ways to view California are these. If it were its own county, it would have the eighth largest economy in the world. And there are more millionaires living in California than people living in Washington, D.C. (or Vermont or Wyoming). Sun, sand, surf, stars, sports. Nothing beats it. And, of course, one of the major attractions is Hollywood and its iconic hillside sign. It was put up in 1923 — spelling Hollywoodland — at a cost of $21,000. The original letters were 50 feet high, but in 1949 the last four letters were removed and the letters were shortened to 45 feet. It was declared a historic landmark in 1973. And the sign’s most tragic tale came from an evening in 1932, when Broadway actress Peg Entwistle climbed the electrician’s ladder to the top of the “H” and, as described by Frank Wilkins in Reel Reviews, “peered out over the twinkling lights of the city that represented her hopes and dreams and performed a perfect swan dive into the ground.” More than 80 years later, it remains the only suicide from atop the sign.

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